Posts Tagged ‘Sewing’

Brown is the colour for March in Judy’s monthly Monochromatic Challenge.

It’s difficult for me to think in shades of brown at this time of year.  When March arrives, I start thinking in pastels and Easter egg colours.  Maybe I could think of this project as the Easter chocolate?!   Hmmm, chocolate bunnies and chocolate Easter eggs…yummy!  That’ll do it — now I’m in the mood for Springtime Brown.  😉

I don’t have much brown in my stash, but what there is might look nice in this arrangement.  I have been thinking of this pattern for a long time, with the horizontal and vertical blocks each having a different number of rails or stripes.  I even drew a sketch of this quilt a couple of weeks ago while waiting for an appointment, so I guess its time has come!

This design is very similar to the green Strip-Stripe quilt I am (still) working on for my husband, except these blocks will be larger — 6.5 inches unfinished.  The four vertical rails will be pieced from 2-inch strips, and the three horizontal rails will be 2.5-inch strips.

Here’s my small collection of browns, which range from tan through rust to dark brown.  I think it will be fun to mix these up and see what happens!  🙂

Please visit Judy to see what other quilters have on their Design Walls today.

Happy Quilting!

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I just finished quilting the “Freeze Frame” quilt that some of us made with Judy Laquidara as part of her “Quilt for an Hour” project in 2009.

I practised and practised my free motion meandering on my domestic sewing machine until it looked right to me, and then I just jumped in and did it.  It was very scary!  I kept thinking — what if I ruin this quilt top?  It’s one of my favourites, and it’s a gift for my father-in-law.

Here’s one of my practice samples with scrap muslin and batting:

And here is the quilting on the quilt top.


It was a lot more difficult to manoeuvre a large project than my small practice samples, and I can see some places where I made errors and some of my stitching lines are not smooth and flowing.  However, I’m mostly happy with it, and truly amazed and relieved that I could do this.  🙂

Here is a photo of the whole quilt top.  It measures 63 x 81 inches.  The sewing machine just visible in the background is my Janome 6500P, which is what I used for the quilting.   The sofa underneath the quilt is one of my most valuable quilting tools — it’s like a giant extension table!  😉

The back is pieced from my stash — two pieces of dark green and one green floral.

Now I just have to trim the quilt edges and bind it.

I already counted the fabric for the top in a long-ago stash report, but I can count the backing and binding this week.  The binding is already cut, pieced and ready to sew on.

I also bought some new fabric this week — a roll of 2.5 inch strips in pink and blue batiks put together by a local fabric store.  I saw a jelly roll pattern recently that will be nice in these colours.

My Stash Report totals are:

  • Used this week:  5 yards
  • Used this year:  5.5 yards
  • Added this week:  2.5 yards
  • Added this year:  2.5 yards
  • Net used:  3 yards

To see how other quilters are progressing with their Stash Busting, please visit Judy’s blog for a list of links to Stash Reports.

Happy Quilting!

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Here is my project for Judy’s February Monochromatic Challenge — a Violet doll quilt, and it’s already finished!

I’ve just fallen in love with doll quilts!  They are so sweet and quick to make.  I pieced the top on Friday, did the quilting on Saturday afternoon, and hand-sewed the binding down while watching TV on Saturday night.  The quilting motif on the borders is copied from the pocket trim on my winter coat.  Inspiration is everywhere!  🙂

This is a free pattern is called Civil War Doll Quilt, and it was designed by Kathleen Tracy.

It only took about a half-yard to sew this doll quilt, and it’s going to make a little girl and her teddy bear very happy!  🙂

My Stash Report totals  for this week are:

  • Used this week:  .5 yard
  • Used this year:  .5 yard
  • Added this week:  0
  • Added this year:  0

To see how other quilters are progressing with their Stash Reports this week, please visit Judy’s blog Patchwork Times for a list of links.

Happy Quilting!

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Judy at Patchwork Times is hosting a Monochromatic Challenge in 2011, and the colour for January is yellow.

I love yellow.  It represents sunshine and warm smiles and happiness to me, so I was very excited about having a really good reason to make an all-yellow quilt!  When I got my yellow fabrics out,  I knew right away that it had to be a Bargello quilt and that my special “Bee” fabric wanted to be included.

I didn’t have enough diversity in values to make the traditional gradient-colour bargello pattern, and I wanted my bees to look like they were flying around in a flower garden, so I used different prints for my stair-steps — polka dots, swirly patterns, florals — and the bees go up and down and all around.

I have just got to the point where I am arranging my strips to create the design.

Here’s a better look at those bees.  🙂

I was hoping to finish it by the end of the month (today!), but it’s still got a long way to go.  That’s OK, though — I am having lots of fun with this pattern!

Happy Quilting!

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Amy, of Amy’s Passions blogsite!

You can see her beautiful finished quilt here, along with a step-by-step account of how she did the challenge, and a lovely story about the quilt’s ultimate destination as a retirement gift for her friend.  Well done, Amy!  🙂  You will receive the top prize of a £15 gift certificate.

Pokey of Pokeydot quilting also finished her fantastic hexagon quilt,  which was given away as a 50th anniversary gift.  Pokey didn’t want to enter the prize drawing, but I think she’s a winner anyway, with her fine quilting skills.

I especially like it that both of these ladies used their cherished “best” fabrics for this challenge, and then gave the quilts away.   What a loving, selfless thing to do, and those gifts will surely become cherished family heirlooms.

Other participants made good progress during the year as well, but for one reason or another — like me — weren’t able to finish their projects in 2010.  Not to worry, though — we can finish our quilts later.  Our UFO’s will wait for us.  They always do!  😉

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Now that my Christmas presents are finished, I’ve started working on a UFO project for my husband that’s been in the works for several years.

I drew these paper-pieced blocks on my computer when I was learning to use Powerpoint many years ago.  It’s my own design, and I called it “Strip Stripe.”

If I had it to do again, though, I would sew these strips together and then sub-cut into units instead of paper piecing.  But…I didn’t know how to do that back then.

It stayed at this stage for a long time.  It wasn’t large enough, but I couldn’t decide how to proceed.  I wanted more than plain borders.

I had a lot of fabric remnants and scraps left over, so I decided to make a half-square triangle border.  And that’s where we are now!  This photo was taken this morning.

There will be two more borders — one thin border to set off the triangles, and then a wider border to frame the whole project.

Happy Quilting!

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It’s time to wrap-up our “Too Good to Cut” Challenge.

Has everyone finished their quilts?  Please don’t feel guilty if you haven’t because I haven’t finished my quilt, either.

If you followed the original guidelines posted last January and would like to be entered in the prize draw on January 1, 2011, please leave a comment with a link to your blog showing a photo of your finished quilt.  Or you can send me a photo, and I will post it here.  Participants’ links are listed in my blog roll.

I live in England, so the deadline for submitting photos is 12 midnight GMT on Friday, December 31, 2010.  Here is a link to a World Clock to show you what time that will be at your location.  Just enter “London” in the search box.

Prizes will be gift certificates, and the winners can specify where they want their gift certificates to come from (favourite quilt shop, Amazon, etc.), as long as it’s a company that will accept my international online payment to purchase it.

The gift certificates will be:

  • First prize –£15,
  • Second prize — £10, and
  • Third prize — £5

Those amounts are in British Pounds Sterling and will be converted to the appropriate currency for the winner, so be sure to let me know what country you live in and what currency you use.

The winners will be chosen by random drawing of names from a hat.

Good luck, everyone!  I’m looking forward to seeing your finished work!  🙂

Happy Quilting!

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Hooray!  I have finished several things just in time to count them for the end-of-the year report!

We had the annual Christmas fair at school, and I made bags again — this time in several sizes.  The small gift bags were the best sellers, especially the ones sized to hold DVDs and CDs.

I also made the usual grocery-shopping sized bags in bright fabrics.    Here is my table in the corner of the school hall.  A coat rack makes a great display for hanging bags!

I made this green String Quilt top for a friend and have already pieced the backing.  Now it just needs quilting and binding.

And best of all, I finished the purple and green Puss in the Corner quilt in time to give it as a gift on Christmas Eve.   It has gone to our older daughter’s long-time boyfriend, who admired the colours when I first started working on it, many months ago.   He was really pleased to have it.  🙂

The full-length picture turned out a bit dark, but here’s one during the quilting that shows the true colours better:

I quilted this project using a Continuous Curve motif designed by Carla Barrett.  Then I went back and stitched a quarter inch inside the edge of each large centre patch.  The backing was pieced using large left-over pieces of green and purple fabrics.

All that activity brings me back into positive numbers!  Here are my totals:

Bought this report:  0
Total fabric in this year:  54 yards
Used this report:  32 yards
Total used this year:  76 yards
Total (net):  22 yards

Thank you, Judy Laquidara, for hosting the Stash Report.  I would like to continue participating in 2011 and hope to be more regular in my reporting.  🙂

Happy New Year, everyone, and Happy Quilting!

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This project started out as a panel of pre-printed Christmas designs that were meant to be cut out and made into tree ornaments.   I wanted to make a quilt with them, so I framed each square with muslin strips and and then added corners to make the blocks into snowballs.

Then I sewed all the blocks together into rows, and the snowball corners make nice little diamonds.

Now I’m adding the borders.  There will be three borders — red, green, red — and the quilt top will finish at 48×56 inches.

It could be a lap quilt, but I think I will probably use it as a table covering for Christmas Eve.

Happy Quilting!

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This is one of my much-loved vintage Singer sewing machines.  She is called the Bluebird of Happiness, and she’s painted pale Sky Blue with dark blue accents.

She is a 359K straight stitch machine, manufactured at the Kilbowie factory in Clydebank, Scotland.   She has an EY serial number, which is not listed in the Singer archives, but from Internet research, I think she is probably a 1967-1969 model.

I have heard this model described as “low end,” but that phrase sounds so derogatory.   I think she’s a wonderful sewing machine, so I prefer to think of her as “priced for the modest budget.”  🙂

There is nothing low-end about the way she performs — a nice even stitch every time, and she is extremely quiet for a 40-something-year-old mechanical sewing machine.

I wanted to be able to use her for a full range of sewing tasks, so I have been buying new accessories for her from time to time.  She now has a vintage Singer buttonhole attachment for dressmaking:

and a vintage Singer zigzag attachment for overcasting seams and making decorative stitches:

I also wanted to piece quilt blocks with this machine but was having difficulty maintaining a consistent 1/4-inch seam.  I looked all over for a Singer 1/4-inch foot to fit her and could only find one for Featherweights (Singer 221K) that would have to come from America, and it was very, very expensive.  So….I made my own 1/4-inch foot adaptation for this machine using a low-shank connector and a snap-on foot that were salvaged from another brand of machine whose motor had burned out and couldn’t be repaired.

See what the Bluebird can do now!  We were happy before, and now we’re overjoyed!

Happy Quilting!

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